Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr. Asheesh Pandey is currently working as the Area Chair & Professor of Finance at the FIIB, New Delhi. He holds degrees like M.Com from Ramjas College, Delhi University, MBA from Indian Institute of Planning and Management and a Ph.D. in Finance from Delhi University. He has considerable experience of 17 years in Industry and Academics. His industry engagement included working in various domains like investment banking (both front-end and back-end), equity research and operations. In his academic endeavor, he has taught in various MBA institutes in the area of Finance and his interest areas are Equity valuation, Portfolio Management, and Corporate Finance. He has also held positions of academic administration like that of Chairperson - Research Committee, Editor – Journal and Program Director. He has organized FDPs, conclaves and Conference Chair in International conferences.
Dr. Pandey has authored a book," Capital Market and Financial System in India" and edited four books. He has published over 40 research papers in national and international refereed journals in the area of asset pricing, equity valuation, capital markets, and Corporate Finance. 10 of his research papers have been published in ABDC listed Journals (including B category). He has over 100 citations of his research work. He has also the experience of managing Management Journals at various capacities including that of an Editor and Asst. Editor at various institutes. He is also supervising one doctoral student and is a recipient of best researcher award in 2015-16 at FIIB.
Experience in the education industry
I have been into the academic industry for around nine years now, after spending eight years in the industry. The journey into the academic industry has been wonderful as it has given me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in terms of imparting quality education and generating quality research. I joined the academic industry as I had a passion for research and had good teaching abilities. That’s why after completing my Ph.D. from Delhi University, I joined academics. I could deliver well in this industry because my industry, teaching, and research interests are all aligned and it has helped me in imparting industry relevant experiential learning to my students in achieving their career objectives.
Philosophy of leadership adopted by the Area Chair & the Professor of Finance
I would describe my leadership style as participative in nature whether it is with my faculty colleagues or with my students. I have always collaborated with my faculty colleagues to produce quality research. In my area too, we make decisions based on collective wisdom. I do give my opinion to my colleagues and finally, take a decision based on their consents. I believe that in academics,
leadership style has to be participative in nature because here we are dealing with intellectual minds
Even in my teaching, I take the path of experiential learning wherein I give tools to my students and then allow them to navigate and find the right path. It helps them to try out various ways themselves and chose the right path as well as help in engaging them more.
Significant challenges faced by the Professor of Finance & Chairperson Research at the FIIB
Being the Professor of Finance, I have tried to introduce industry relevant courses in the area. For example, in the past few years, I have introduced a new course every year which included Financial Modelling, Fixed Income Securities, Econometrics for decision making to name a few. As management teachers, we have to always think about how much to introduce in each course.
My philosophy has been “Less is more” which means that I would take a few topics in class and put ample emphasis on them in class. In management courses, one has to grapple with diversity in class (in terms of students from different streams) as well as of teaching around 7- 8 courses in a trimester. In management education, the grading process is of continuous evaluation with 4-5 assignments per course. It means each student has to provide around 35-40 assignments in a term. So, it becomes imperative for teachers to think thoroughly about what and how to deliver on a course.
As a research chairperson, I designed the entire research policy in consultation with the top management of the institute which included promoting research activities in the institute (in terms of organizing FDPs for faculty members, guest talks and faculty circles) and facilitating the faculty members in terms of providing on duty leaves, financial support for attending conferences and allocation of credits in PMS. We at FIIB, have a dedicated research committee which looks after the research pursuits of the institute. I have served as a conduit between the faculty members and the management to promote and facilitate research activities.
In my initial days, only a few faculty members were doing research activities and many were involved more into teaching. But once we implemented research policy and motivated our faculty colleagues to do research by both reducing their teaching load and mentoring by senior faculty members, it has resulted in an increased number of quality publications including those in Scopus and ABDC listed journals.
The curriculum of FIIBensures the best practice of industry
We at FIIB, believe in the holistic development of students to get them industry- ready both through other curricular and extracurricular activities. We impart industry relevant courses to our students and involve industry engagement in every step starting from course development (by getting them vetted through industry professionals), to course delivery (in terms of guest sessions and workshops), to evaluation (summer internship evaluations through an academic and industry panel) and finally through course review (after every three years, we review the entire curriculum by inviting industry experts).
Hence, we involve the industry in every step of our course delivery. Besides, we have a fair amount of faculty members with industry experience and our main teaching pedagogy has been providing knowledge to students through experiential learning by adopting methods such as case analysis, role plays, student-led discussions and simulations to name a few.
Various changes noticed in the Education Industry over the past few years and the skill set required by a corporate in a student
In the last few years, there has been intense competition among students to get placements because of the less number of jobs being offered due to negligible expansion in the corporate sector. If you want to get better placements then students must work hard right from the beginning of their program, and apart from their subject knowledge, they should develop excellent communication skills and body language, should possess ethical values, should be team members because in the Corporate sector your success depends on the success of the team.
Students should be confident, should have knowledge about the current affairs and finally, should be problem solvers who could provide solutions to the management and above all should hold a positive attitude.
Read more about FIIB Placements
Establishing a relationship with the students being a Professor
Management education being the last academic endeavour of most of the students is different from a purely academic course as this is the last educational degree for most of the students before they enter into the industry. I have established a relationship with my students as their friend and mentor. They can come to me anytime for any queries related to their career development.
Besides, at FIIB we also have a dedicated mentoring cell through which few students are assigned to each faculty member as mentees so that personal touch can be given to each and every student. In the first year, we try to work more on the soft skills of students in terms of their communication, attitude, etc. and in the final year, it is more about the hard skills related to their specializations in order to achieve their career objectives. In my individual capacity, I tend to also work with few students on my research projects which help them to learn more.
Goals for the Institute for the next few years
We at FIIB, aim to be a global leader of excellence in management education. In the last two decades, we have created a niche for ourselves in the management industry with a focus on world-class management education and providing future leaders to the industry with a global mindset and sustainability sensitization. With professional management at the top, quality faculty resources, strategic location, and state of the art infrastructure, we take pride to be called as an institution with a difference.
In recent years, we have laid our emphasis on attracting and retaining quality faculty with industry and global experience, industry-relevant courses, skill development through various curricular and extra-curricular activities to name a few. In the next few years, we tend to focus on improved all-around adoption of quality assurance in the curriculum development and delivery, getting relevant international accreditations of the program and enhancement of continuous learning opportunities for industry professionals.
Read more about FIIB Faculty
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
When we talk about India to be the next superpower in the next few years, it is possible only because of its demographic dividend. The major advice to the students would be to dream big and achieve them through hard work, dedication, and sincerity. One of my sincere advice to budding students would be to make most of these two years which they get before entering the industry by actively participating in both curricular and extra-curricular activities. They should not choose their specializations simply on the basis of what sort of jobs are coming more to campus but on the basis of their interest area and passion.
Ultimately, students’ aim is not to just fetch a job but to choose a career which would help them to attain peace and prosperity in the long term